Sad ‘no one paid’ for Clico collapse –Bajan activist

(Barbados Nation) The woman who has been leading the fight on behalf of former local policyholders of CLICO International Life Insurance said it was unfortunate that no one has yet been charged in connection with the company’s2009 collapse.

But chairperson of the Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA), June Fowler, does not expect any arrests to be made.

Fowler was speaking in the wake of Friday’s Court of Appeal decision, which overturned one given by Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson, and removed the injunction freezing $3.3 million in assets of former chairman of CLICO Barbados operations, Leroy Parris.

While Parris’ attorneys were rejoicing, attorney for the judicial manager, Ramon Alleyne, explained that a garnishee order at the Bank of Nova Scotia prevented Parris from touching any of the money.

“No charges have been brought against anybody from the perspective of the regulator,” Fowler said.

“The case that was brought against Mr Parris was done because of a forensic audit, and it wasn’t even a comprehensive forensic audit. It was a forensic audit that was done by the judicial manager and they were able to come across the discovery of the $3.3 million.

“So it is a sad thing for Barbados and the Caribbean that, to this day, nobody has really faced the law courts for the debacle of CLICO and British American,” she declared.

While Fowler believes it is not too late for someone to be held accountable, she does not believe it will happen.

“Nothing will be done. There will be a lot of talk; there will be a lot of fuss being made, but in the final analysis, nothing really will be done to help the regional governments to recover what they had to put up to make the policyholders whole.

“Nobody will touch it because there are too many incestuous relationships between that organisation and the governments in the region, whether it is one party or the next. And I think that is a sad thing for us in the region,” the BIPA chairperson noted.

Fowler further told the Sunday Sun the court matter was between the judicial manager, Deloitte Consulting Ltd, and Parris.

As a result it was “outside of our fight”.

“If, as Ramon Alleyne said, the $3.3 million is part of the proceeds that should go to the policyholders, then kudos to the team for continuing the fight to get whatever they can to put into the pot for the policyholders.

“So we will continue to monitor the outcome and look forward to when that transfer takes place,” Fowler said.

The January 2009 collapse of Trinidad and Tobago-based CL Financial Limited (CLF) and related companies caused a major financial shock to the Caribbean. The collapse has had spill-over effects in all CARICOM states other than Jamaica and Haiti, with exposures as high as 17 per cent of GDP in the Eastern Caribbean, leading to costly government interventions. CLF’s insurance subsidiaries were the Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO), the British American Insurance Company (BAICO) both of which went into Judicial Management.

 

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